In the Media

Mother faces jail after pretending son had cancer in ?50,000 benefit fraud

PUBLISHED October 3, 2012

The woman, from the Stroud area of Gloucestershire, is accused of keeping up an elaborate cancer farce for three years while her son was aged between four and seven.

The mother, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, is alleged to have shaved the boy's hair to make it look like he was having chemotherapy.

She went on to claim over £50,000 in benefits, including disability living allowance and carers' allowance, the court heard.

She also claimed for child tax credits saying her children were living with her when they were actually in care.

She appeared today at Gloucester Crown Court where her case was adjourned for a pre-sentence report.

The woman admitted one count of child cruelty, eight counts of fraud and one of forgery at an earlier hearing, but this can only be reported today after the prosecution accepted pleas of not guilty to a number of other charges.

The woman was charged with two offences of child cruelty between January 2008 and May 2010, 12 charges of fraud, between October 2007 and February 2011, and five of forgery, including faking GP letters.

Judge Jamie Tabor QC told the woman she faces ''almost certain imprisonment'' before releasing her on bail to appear at the same court on November 2 for sentencing.

The judge added his regret that the case could not be dealt with today having been delayed several times.

''This case has been going on forever. This lady is in very serious trouble and is entitled to know where she stands,'' he said.

''I will adjourn the case for four weeks, this will be the last adjournment.''

The prosecution was brought by the Crown Prosecution Service, working alongside Stroud District Council, the Department of Work and Pensions and the Gloucestershire Child Protection Unit.

The woman's partner, who also cannot been identified, appeared in court alongside her today charged with one count of perverting the course of justice and one of forgery.

But the prosecution offered no evidence in respect of the charges and he was discharged.